Hard Benches and Hard Sights
The church building was a concrete building about 50 feet long. The “pews” were hard wooden benches with slats in them, and they had a very uncomfortable wooden bar where you lean back. Honestly, it was the only thing that kept me awake. After getting only 3 hours of sleep on Friday, a very fitful sleep here on Saturday, and sitting for over 2 hours listening to people speak a language I did not understand….it was definitely hard to keep my eyes open! That hard bench kept me awake.
After church, we spoke with Pastor Daniel about his church and his testimony. It was beautiful hearing his story of salvation, turning from a life of voodoo and alcohol towards Christ and eventually pastoring a church. I also found it very encouraging to hear him talk so highly of World Orphans and the ministry they are doing in his community. As a new employee of this organization, I love telling people about how WO is making a difference, an eternal difference, for so many people around the world. It was awesome to hear from this pastor’s perspective about the positive effects of this ministry. When we asked if he could encourage us in any way, his answer surprised me. I thought he would share a verse or just a word of thanks for coming to serve in his church. But instead, his encouragement to us was to “please support World Orphans in any way possible because they really are doing so much good. Even if it is just a small amount, know that the Lord multiplies it.” That might not mean a lot to you, but to me as someone who is actively raising support for ministry, this speaks volumes.
Next, we went on a few home visits. After going on a few mission trips, it’s not as shocking to see people living in shacks or tents. Naked children (and often adults) are not surprising anymore. The mud and unpleasant smells are expected. However, in spite of all that, it’s never comfortable seeing those conditions, and it never should be. Injustice and evil should ALWAYS cause us to be uncomfortable because the Holy Spirit is burning within us, motivating us to act in some way.
One thing that stood out to me was the friendliness and joy I saw. The environment was very similar to Ethiopia in the fact that it was what you would call a “slum”. However, in Ethiopia, I wrote about how the people there seemed to lack all hope. It was almost like they didn’t even have the energy to hope. But here, it was very different. I think part of it is the Caribbean culture. Most Caribbean natives are generally upbeat and always smiling. It was surprising and lovely to see these people smiling and fellowshipping with one another. It was an honor to meet them and be welcomed into their homes.
Please continue to pray for us. I have had a migraine for most of the day which really made me sluggish so please pray that in the morning, I’ll be headache-free! Also, tomorrow we do our VBS activities. We’re a little unsure of what to expect. We were originally told 80 kids would be a high number of kids tomorrow, but then today we were told that 200 could be coming, AND we have one less translator than expected. That’s a big difference, and with only 7 people on a team, that could be quite a challenge. Pray for our flexibility and that no matter what happens, we show Jesus. And also, praying for a little cloud cover and cooler air would be appreciated too :-).